Lawrence KS architecture

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 56
Demographics 29
Economy 49
Education 69
Health 62
Housing 61
Infrastructure 38

#84. Lawrence, KS

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! You’ll hear plenty of this haunting chant in Lawrence, KS, home to the University of Kansas and their beloved Jayhawks. But even if you’re not a student (or, gasp, a basketball fan!), you’ll still love living in Lawrence, a friendly, Midwestern city that’s home to some 97,000 people and situated in eastern Kansas, about 40 miles from Kansas City. Lawrence has great schools, a strong economy, tons of entertainment and outdoor options, and an affordable cost of living – median home values here are around $204,000.

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Kansas

Top Industries & Employers: Education, health care and agriculture

Weekend Plans: Cheer on the Jayhawks, shop on Mass Street or catch a show at Lied Center of Kansas, Lawrence Arts Center or Theatre Lawrence (or maybe all of the above!).

Favorite Place to Feast: The Burger Stand at the Casbah, where you can get truffle fries, poutine fries or duck fat fries as a side to your burger or hot dog.

Beloved Beverage: The Horsefeather, a modern twist on the Horse’s Neck cocktail made with rye whiskey, ginger beer, bitters and lemon. Try the one at the Bourgeois Pig

Outdoorsy Activity: Camping, fishing, hiking, boating, mountain biking or cross-country skiing at the year-round paradise Clinton State Park.

Rooftop Bar: The Nest on Ninth, the stunning rooftop bar of The Oread Hotel offering great views of the sunset, the K.U. campus and the Kaw River.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Dogs and humans alike love exploring Lawrence’s Riverfront Park, situated along the Kansas River and featuring 120 acres to roam around in. There’s also an off-leash dog park if your pup needs a little extra playtime to burn off some energy!

Remote Work Perk: Need a little more art and beauty in your workday? Get a membership at Cider Gallery, part art gallery, part event venue and part coworking space. The exposed brick walls and artsy decor will help get your creative juices flowing.

One More Thing … When it opened in 1989, Lawrence’s Free State Brewing Company became Kansas’ first legal brewery since Prohibition.

– Sarah Kuta

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